Best Ways To Cut Down On Waste
Intimidated by environmental efforts? If you’re looking to do your part for Mother Earth and reduce your carbon footprint, but are too lazy to dedicate your whole life to environmentalism, fret not! Reducing your carbon footprint and waste is not something that requires a lot of effort; you can start with little steps that will contribute greatly to the environment. With these simple habits, you can not only save the earth but declutter the things you don’t need in your life and save money as well! You might also switch electricity provider to save money at the same time.
As an adult with a family, you would probably have tons and tons of bills to take care of, but you can easily switch them to an electronic billing system to save a lot of paper! It’s also much easier to keep track of which you’ve paid for.
2. First In, First Out (FIFO)
FIFO is often used in the F&B industry but is certainly common sense and easy enough to do at home. Just like the name suggests, you aim to finish whatever groceries based on when you bought them to avoid them expiring too fast. The earlier the ingredients bought, the earlier it should be used up. Move your older groceries to the front of your refrigerator or cabinet, putting the new ones at the back.
3. Buy weird-looking produce
Farmer markets and grocery stores may contain weird-looking produce, and they might scare you away thinking that they’re deformed. However, real produce can actually look that way naturally, and by buying them you are preventing suppliers from throwing them out, which can constitute a lot of waste. Don’t worry, these foods taste just the same and are just as healthy.
4. Stop buying packaged produce
Packaged produce that comes in vacuum-sealed packs are definitely more convenient, but they are not recyclable. Instead, opt to buy fresh fruits and vegetables!
5. Bamboo toothbrushes
It may not cross your mind, but your regular plastic toothbrushes are a huge contribution to waste because they have a short lifespan. Instead of using plastic toothbrushes, switch them up with bamboo toothbrushes, and keep your old plastic ones for cleaning purposes. These bamboo toothbrushes are compostable and so do not become part of the waste in landfills.
6. Sustainable takeouts
Takeouts are so convenient and tempting, especially if you lead a busy life. However, what you can do is to support restaurants or cafes that use compostable or recyclable containers. Additionally, you can always ask for no cutlery – just use your own at home and wash them afterward! Washing cutlery is not as tiring as washing a whole lot of dishes anyway. Lastly, you can also bring your own reusable containers for takeouts. Consider investing in travel mugs, containers, drinking sleeves, and more. What’s better is that you can find a lot of nice-looking containers and water bottles so that you don’t have to feel embarrassed that you’re using your own containers for takeouts. There are simple takeout kits that you can find which will save you a lot of hassle as well.
7. Opt for reusable bags for your groceries
Plastic bags are guilty for the one-time usage before throwing it away. This creates a lot of waste because everyone buys groceries. Imagine how much we could reduce by opting for reusable bags! If you forget to bring reusable bags, then you could ask for boxes as they are more eco-friendly than plastic bags.
8. Make use of all of your produce
Many of us like to peel our vegetables like potatoes and carrots, but the skin on them is actually the most nutritious and fibrous! When using lemon, for example, don’t just use the juice, but the zest as well – it even adds more of a kick to your food!
9. Buy dry goods in bulk
Buying groceries with a long shelf-life in bulk can reduce the overall packaging that you consume, and also saves you some money! Additionally, you don’t have to make as many trips to the grocery store to keep stocking up.
10. Make a list
Within your family, you can all make lists together on items that you do not want to discard. Take stock and see whether you’ve been hoarding unnecessary items. Then, you can aim to reduce that list slowly over time to avoid over-consumerism and throwing away items when you can donate or recycle them instead.
11. Sell your old stuff
Selling your old and unwanted stuff at home can not only help you get rid of them without having them land up in the waste but in someone’s home, they can also prevent others from buying new things and reduce consumerism. You can also earn some money, so what’s stopping you?
12. Second-hand clothes
The fashion industry is notorious for its big negative impact on the environment, and if each one of us does our part to buy more second-hand clothes instead of brand new ones all the time, then we can make a really big difference. Reusing other people’s clothes can not only save you some money, especially for children since they grow big in a short amount of time, but they can also reduce the fast fashion industry’s carbon footprint. If you love a bit of DIY, why not transform your older clothes into something new as well? Lastly, you could also shop with your friends and buy hand-me-downs for your children.
13. Extend the life of your clothes
Staying on the topic of not buying new clothes all the time, you can also choose to mend your torn clothes at a tailor. It is still cheaper than buying new ones. Otherwise, do a bit of sewing at home and you’re good to go!
14. No junk mail
If you’re tired of receiving junk mail like advertisements because they are of no use to you, then put a simple ‘no junk mail or advertisements’ notice on your mailbox. What’s more, you prevent temptations and avoid over-consumerism on your part as well.
15. Stop using disposables
If you bake, then there are many ways that you can save the earth by buying reusable tools like silicone baking sheets instead of using parchment paper. Also, use cloth instead of paper napkins. After using them a few times, you can then wash them.
Living an environmentally-friendly and waste-free life is definitely not as difficult and tedious as it seems, so start making better choices today and encourage the people around you to do the same as well!